Madhuku was among the demonstrators arrested


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National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku was among the 180-300 demonstrators arrested in Harare calling for a new constitution, proclaiming: “We are prepared to die for a new democratic constitution”.

Ten years later the country had a new constitution brought about by the inclusive government.

The NCA fought to bar a referendum for the new constitution but failed. It now says it might have to be disbanded or reconstituted as a political party.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE2100, POLICE BEAT ARRESTEES AFTER NCA DEMONSTRATION IN

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

03HARARE2100

2003-10-22 14:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

221444Z Oct 03

UNCLAS HARARE 002100

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

DS/OP/AF

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PHUM PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: POLICE BEAT ARRESTEES AFTER NCA DEMONSTRATION IN

DOWNTOWN HARARE

 

 

1. (SBU) On October 22, police arrested 180-300

demonstrators including National Constitutional Assembly

(NCA) Director Dr. Lovemore Madhuku, during a demonstration

organized by the NCA at Africa Unity Square in downtown

Harare. The demonstration advocated a new constitution.

Police confiscated t-shirts, banners, and placards which

read, “we are prepared to die for a new democratic

constitution”. The arrestees are being held at Harare

Central Police Station. Police kicked seven lawyers out of

the station, under threat of beating or tear gas; lawyers are

being denied access to the arrestees. Prominent human rights

lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said she saw police beat young

arrestees with rubber truncheons as they alighted from a

police vehicle and were made to run into the yard of the

police station. Legal representation is being handled by the

Legal Defense Fund (LDF), a program of the local NGO the

Legal Resources Foundation (LRF). Eileen Sawyer, ex-Director

of LRF, said that two Herald reporters were also arrested

with the crowd and were being detained.

 

2. (SBU) Mtetwa said she overheard police shouting commands

to take away the arrestees cell phones, deny them any

communication with the outside, and lock them up. She said

it was very likely that the arrestees would be spread around

to various police stations in the Harare area overnight, as

the cells at Harare Central could not accommodate this many

detainees.

SULLIVAN

 

(6 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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